The third annual Blockparty (now I believe the longest running US demo party) took place Saturday night at during Notacon. Demo parties are competitions where coders enter their programs and audience members vote on them. Along with the standard “demo” category, the organizers of Blockparty expanded to include several different categories. One of them was music, so I decided to write, record and enter my own song.
My interest in demos and the demo scene goes back to the Commodore 64, so I knew up front I wanted to record a tribute to the 64. I know nothing of 8-bit recording techniques, so that was out. I considered recording samples from 8-bit games into a modern program and restructuring them into a song, but I didn’t want to create an entire song out of other people’s sound samples, so I dropped that idea too. While listening to Run DMC during my recent road trip to Pennsylvania, it hit me — I’ll record a rap! Raps are relatively easy to write and perform as is loop-based music, so that’s what I decided to do.
The end result was “You Can’t Handle the Commodore,” a three-minute song written in the style of an old-school “rap battle”. Rap, and especially the rap I used to listen to growing up, has always been filled with “battle” songs — you know, “I’m so bad” and “I could kick your butt” and stuff like that … so after listening to several hours of old Run DMC, Ice-T, NWA and LL Cool J albums to get me in the mood, I sat down and wrote the lyrics to my song.
Versions - Different performances of the song by the same artist
Compilations - Other albums which feature this performance of the song
Covers - Performances of a song with the same name by different artists
You Can't Handle the Commodore
Also included here are the lyrics, with a ton of notations added to explain all the jokes. Note that unless you are familiar with the C64 and much of its library, most of this won’t seem very funny.
As you can tell, I tried to cram an awful lot of jokes and references into a three-minute song. My minimum goal was one joke or reference every other line, and I tried to put one per line where I could do so without making it feel forced.
Reviewer:Roflberry Pwncakes ®
April 21, 2018 Subject:
What a dope jam! Definite Run DMC vibe with just a hint of Chuck D aggression. I grew up playing my friend's C64 (I had a TRS-80. Weak hardware for gaming but it was a good tool for learning how program with BASIC. I know, I know: WEAK). I didn't catch a lot of the game references, but Archon definitely caught my attention. That game was very important to the history of gaming itself as the first to have turn based strategy and real time tactical combat. The writer, Guy Ritchie I think his name was, would take the idea into space and go on to create the Star Control series. Comma 8 comma 1 after a filename specified to load from the floppy drive with default protocol if I remember right. And was it just me or did you sample the sound of a wrecked floppy drive and put it in the mix around 1:00 in?